NEW E-BOOK on amazon- DEALING WITH CPTSD TRIGGERS IN RELATIONSHIPS

After the success of my Assertiveness PDF Course, I have decided to release my first E-book/Guide ‘Dealing with CPTSD triggers in relationships’-A helpful guide for both partners.

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This is something I have been working on for awhile and especially because so many of you have reached out to me struggling with your partner’s triggers.

This ebook is available on Amazon Kindle and I am selling it for £5.06 but I am offering the first 15 of you the opportunity to buy it for only £2 by sending payment to my PayPal at athinalarios@yahoo.com.

If you are in need of support in your relationship, then order your discounted copy NOW!

Email me at courageisallyouneed@gmail.com confirming that you have made payment and you will receive your discounted copy!

If you support me on Patreon, you will get this e-book for free 🙂

I will be creating a video on my YouTube channel to promote this e-book but I would very much appreciate a reblog of this post, if you think this ebook would help anyone you know.

I want to help as many people as possible as this is something that I have personally struggled with in my relationship.

To buy the Kindle version on the UK Amazon click below!

Thank you!

Love Athina

Do I have C-PTSD? New video questionnaire which will help you identify this!

A lot of research has gone into this video which has a questionnaire about helping people identify whether they might be suffering with CPTSD. I set up a poll on my youtube page, asking my subscribers to choose a video topic out of 4 options and this video was the most popular choice.

As I myself have answered ‘Yes’ to around 34 out of the 40 questions on this questionnaire and have also been diagnosed with CPTSD from 3 different therapists, I know that this questionnaire is very accurate. I created it to help my clients feel validated and to provide a stepping stone in the right direction towards their healing journey.

It is highly important to stress that there are 2 different types of abuse that a child can suffer in their family home. Overt abuse and covert abuse. Most abuse survivors, who have experienced a combination of these 2 types of abuse, will answer ‘YES’ to all 40 questions and will have all CPTSD symptoms, as well as visual, physical and other sensory flashbacks, along with extreme dissociation. Those survivors who have only suffered from covert abuse, also score high on this questionnaire (as much as 38 out of 40). This proves the severity of both types of abuse and sadly many therapists don’t take covert abuse seriously, when they should.

I wholeheartedly hope you find it helpful and if you think others will find it useful and validating, then please share this post as much as possible, .

Also please feel free to add your answers in the comments below this post, or on my youtube channel! Please specify whether you experienced overt abuse or covert abuse or both.

Thank you!

Love Athina ♥

 

Things not to say to those with a mental illness

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  Love Athina ♥ © All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

New youtube video-I have discovered my parents are narcissists.What now?

It is important to know the steps of what to expect after realising your parents are abusive. It is crucial to finally understand why and how you were & are affected by narcissistic abuse. Giving what you have been through a name, is the beginning of your healing journey. It allows for validation of your feelings and to finally KNOW that it wasn’t your fault – It was your parents fault!

To actually work through the emotions, the acceptance of not having had healthy parents and the grief that goes with it, is a whole different challenge however. To reach a better state of mental health, you have to dig deep and allow a lot of painful feelings to come to the surface. Only after working through these painful emotions, will you then have the opportunity to look at your life through a different lens. To look at yourself with more self-compassion & understanding and to learn to set boundaries, takes practice and you need an experienced therapist on your side.

A psychological coach, which is what I have trained as, can support you in changing self-defeating thoughts or behaviours and can support you in the present to move forward with goal setting. A coach is not qualified to guide you through your grieving or acceptance in depth. That is a therapist’s job.

I have had a lot of teenagers watch my youtube videos and I am very much aware that I have to post videos carefully and support these children appropriately.

With empathy & unconditional positive regard, a child can feel a little bit better.

I know that if I had had this support as a child, it probably would have made a world of difference to my mental health.

This is the main reason I am passionate about supporting young people. They need someone to have their back with no strings attached. With narcissistic parents/step-parents, there are always strings attached. There is always some nasty remark waiting to be used against their child/step-child.

Children deserve unconditional love, acceptance, validation of their feelings and a safe environment to call home. This has to become a priority in our society.

Thanks for reading/watching!

Love Athina ♥♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

Somatic experiencing-Trauma

 

Somatic experiencing, helps restore the natural energy balance in our bodies. It helps with restoring the energy flow in our bodies, in places where it is stuck due to stress, injury or trauma.

 

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Somatic Experiencing® (SE™) was developed by Peter A. Levine, PhD to address the effects of trauma. Levine developed this approach after observing that prey animals, whose lives are routinely threatened in the wild, are able to recover readily by physically releasing the energy they accumulate during stressful events. Humans, on the other hand, often override these natural ways of regulating the nervous system with feelings of shame and pervasive thoughts, judgments, and fears. Somatic Experiencing aims to help people move past the place where they might be “stuck” in processing a traumatic event.

The Autonomic Nervous System and Somatic Experiencing Theory

The autonomic nervous system (ANS), which includes the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS), and the enteric nervous system (ENS), is triggered into action when we’re faced with adversity and it governs the fight, flight, or freeze instinct. Although designed to be self-regulating, the ANS can become dysregulated, particularly when full expression of one’s response to trauma is repressed. As a result, the body continues to respond as if it is under threat. Somatic experiencing contends that negative symptoms of trauma—such as anxiety, hypervigilance, aggression, and shame—result from denying the body the opportunity to fully process the traumatic event.

Though many people who experience traumatic events recover completely, for those who do not, unresolved trauma can lead to larger mental and physical health concerns, such a post-traumatic stress (PTSD),sleep problems, mood swings, or immune system problems. Somatic Experiencing aims to restore the body’s ability to self-regulate in order to achieve balance and integrity.

Method of Somatic Experiencing

Somatic Experiencing sessions involve the introduction of small amounts of traumatic material and the observation of a client’s physical responses to that material, such as shallow breathing or a shift in posture. The therapist will frequently check in with the client to assess and record somatic sensations that may be imperceptible to the practitioner, such as feelings of heaviness, tightness, or dizziness. Practitioners proceed carefully and cautiously to avoid retraumatizing or triggering the client, and they help people to develop and employ self-regulating strategies. A key component to enhancing one’s ability to self-regulate is the practice of alternating, or “pendulating,” between the sensations associated with trauma and those that are a source of strength and comfort.

The SE practitioner will help the client find places of safety, whether that be a place in the body that is not activated by the trauma, or a physical place to retreat to in one’s mind. Experiencing the sensations related to the traumatic event in a safe way allows a person to fully process the trauma. Clients also achieve heightened awareness of their physical responses to stress, and this skill can serve them in everyday life.

The above text is from the goodtherapy.org website and is the best explanation I have found on somatic experiencing.

As somebody who lives with muscular armouring, which is a result of my CPTSD, I know how uncomfortable my body feels, especially around my neck, chest and back. Due to high stress throughout most of my life, this has resulted in a feeling of tightness in my chest, headaches, clinched shoulders, tight upper back and more. I also notice myself neurotically holding my belly muscles, which in turn disrupts my healthy diaphragmatic breathing. Sometimes, I have to remind myself to relax my breathing and in turn relax my muscles but unfortunately this isn’t enough in the long run, as my painful symptoms always return.

Muscular armouring causes Myofascial pain. Myo stands for muscle and fascia is the connective tissue that holds everything together. In more simple terms, when someone is stuck in a hyper vigilant state, this causes intense muscle tightness (muscular armouring) which results in Myofascial pain. Fibromyalgia is also a condition that can develop from prolonged trauma and is very difficult to diagnose in a lot of cases.

For those of you who have suffered trauma in your childhood or any other sort of trauma, it is worth paying attention to your physical symptoms, as body and mind are connected. If you have only tried talking therapy but haven’t tried somatic therapy, then I highly recommend that you consider it.

The theory behind somatic therapy is that the mind, body, spirit, and emotions are all related and connected to each other. Talk therapy is combined with physical techniques, such as deep breathing, relaxation exercises, and meditation. Other techniques used include dance, exercise, yoga, or other types of movement, vocal work, and massage.

It is important to be in touch with your body and to practice self-care as much as possible.

If you found this post useful then please feel free to comment, like or share.

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Love Athina ♥

 

 

Taking on others’ emotions-Having weak boundaries

When you have grown up in a dysfunctional narcissistic home, taking on others’ emotions becomes the norm. Narcissistic parents teach their children to cater to their feelings & moods and the child learns to ignore their own emotions.

A great book which can help you understand whether you have weak emotional boundaries, is by Charles Whitfield: Boundaries and Relationships: Knowing, Protecting and Enjoying the Self. 

The following statements from his book, can help you identify whether you struggle with taking on others’ emotions and neglecting your own.

Answer with “never,” “seldom,” “occasionally,” “often,” or “usually.”

  • I feel as if my happiness depends on other people.
  • I would rather attend to others than attend to myself.
  • I spend my time and energy helping others so much that I neglect my own wants and needs.
  • I tend to take on the moods of people close to me.
  • I am overly sensitive to criticism.
  • I tend to get “caught up” in other people’s problems.
  • I feel responsible for other people’s feelings.

If you reply mostly with ”often” or ”usually”, then this is something you should consider getting support for. This means that you are extremely affected by the emotions & moods of those around you and aren’t able to focus on your own needs first.

If this is something you relate to and need support for, then please leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

World Mental Health Day

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Mental illness has always been a part of my life. Whether it is through my own personal journey, through my family’s or watching friends struggle.

Although I haven’t been writing on here much, mental health will always remain a very important cause that I will always talk about. It is crucial for anybody struggling with mental illness to feel heard, to feel validated & to feel safe.

Empathy & understanding are necessary and we must all do our best to listen without judgement.

Life can sometimes throw us a curveball and none of us will ever know when this might happen.

Talk about mental health!

Be open & honest!

Be understanding!

Listen & give plenty of hugs to those struggling!

Sometimes that is enough to make someone’s day a little better!

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Healing from abuse

The sad thing about healing from abuse is that many people who haven’t themselves been abused, can’t possibly understand the survivor’s journey.

Healing from abuse is unique to each individual who has experienced it. The survivor will be emotionally damaged and/or physically hurt and unfortunately this damage is sometimes irreversible. Abuse leaves behind scars unique to each survivor’s experience.

Although healing means that your mind and body are able to recover, this doesn’t mean that the person can return to being ‘normal’.

The aftermath of abuse is usually permanent.

There might be long-lasting Complex PTSD for those who suffered child abuse, human trafficking, kidnapping or other severe types of abuse.

For some individuals abuse might be all they have known. They don’t have a pre-trauma or pre-abuse identity. They might not know what it is truly like to feel safe.

To all survivors of abuse or trauma,it is very important to remember this:

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Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

The narcissist’s vortex

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Being in a relationship with a narcissist, whether that is a family member or partner, is like constantly being sucked into a vortex with no escape. Every time you think you are getting somewhere, you get sucked in deeper and deeper. Your confidence is constantly eroded, you start doubting your feelings and logic and the narcissist continues to do what he or she does best: Turning the tables on you everytime you have an argument.

They are masters at saying things like ” I never said that”, ”you are imagining things”, ”stop being so sensitive”, ” you hurt me way more than I hurt you” etc. …

Everything can & will always be used against you

Everything is always your fault

Everything is about how you hurt their feelings more than they hurt yours..

They are always one step ahead..

You will never win, you will never beat them..

The worst part is, that being in a relationship with a narcissist can become extremely addictive…

A trauma bond is created over time and the victim in this dysfunctional relationship clings onto the hope that the narcissist will become the positive person they remember from the beginning..The caring side that they were lured in with at the start, is what keeps them from walking away from the relationship..

If the relationship is with a narcissistic parent rather than a partner, then it is ever tougher for the adult child to break free..The trauma bond is even stronger, especially because a child’s love for their parents never dies and also because the brainwashing that goes on in the family home, is even more long-lasting and intense.

If you are in a relationship with someone whom you think is a narcissist and are starting to come around to this realisation, then please feel free to comment.

For support, please email me at courageisallyouneed@gmail.com

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.